Tanzania Film & Photography Production Services & Camera Crews
Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Tanzania? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.
Filming in Tanzania
For an introduction to shooting in Tanzania see below notes on film locations, permits, when to shoot, unique local stories, costs, tax incentives, crews, talent, equipment, communications, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits for filming, transport, film-friendly accommodation, and safety advice.
Tanzania Film Locations
Tanzania is a filmmakers paradise offering everything from famous wildlife parks to unique cultures, from snow-capped mountains to pristine white sand beaches. The country is also known for its coffee, tea, cotton, and spice plantations.
Tanzania has hosted films such as Independence Day, Baraka, The Bucket List, Congo, and and a long list of wildlife documentaries including Jane.
Film locations can be divided into the following regions:
Arusha is the largest city in this region and gateway to many film locations.
Mt. Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest mountain.
The Serengeti National Park Great Migration attracts visiting wildlife photographers and filmmakers every year.
The Mara Region is home to the red-cloaked Maasai people, the ancestral inhabitants of the region.
Arusha National Park has a range of habitats including Mount Meru, Ngurdoto Crater, and Momela Lakes.
Lake Manyara National Park comprises of forest, woodland, grasslands, and swamps. The park is also home to the largest concentration of baboons in the world.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to the famous volcanic Ngorongoro Crater and a diversity of African wildlife.
Tarangire National Park is known for its migratory wildlife and beautiful baobab trees.
Lake Natron is a bright red coloured salt lake that’s home to flamingos.
Dar es Salaam, a commercial commercial port located on the Indian Ocean is Tanzania’s largest city and main production service centre where crew and equipment are based. The city is known for its beaches, islands, seafood, and music. Film locations of note include Kivukoni Fish Market, St. Joseph’s Cathedral, and Coco Beach. Mbudya Island, Bongoyo Island, Fungu Yasini Island are paradise island locations near Dar es Salaam.
The semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar consists of the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba. Zanzibar is known for beautiful palm-fringed white sand beaches and underwater photography locations. Stone Town is located in the heart of Zanzibar and features old Arabian townhouses, winding colonial alleyways and a busy port. Pemba Island is home to The Manta Resort, a floating underwater hotel. The desert islands near Pemba Island offer some of the best underwater photography options in the Indian Ocean.
The TAZARA Railway is a 1,860km (1,160mi) long railway linking Dar es Salaam to the town of Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia. The journey runs through some of Tanzania’s most spectacular landscapes.
Dodoma is the capital of Tanzania.
Lake Victoria Region
Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa. Rubondo Island National Park and Saanane Island National Park are located in this region.
Gombe Stream National Park is famous for its chimpanzees and the work done by Jane Goodall.
Mahale Mountains National Park also on Lake Tanganyika has the largest known chimpanzee population.
Katavi National Park is a flood plain known for its hippos, crocodiles, lions, zebras, giraffes, and hundreds of bird species.
Ruaha National Park is home to the Great Ruaha River, spectacular gorges, majestic trees, and hundreds of species of bird.
Udzungwa Mountains National Park has tropical rainforest, mountain forest, miombo woodland, grassland and steppe.
Selous Game Reserve is the largest game reserve in Africa. Wildlife of note includes elephants, hippos and rhinos as well as buffalo, antelope, giraffe, warthog, wildebeest, lion, leopard, cheetah, and hundreds of bird species.
Mafia Island Marine Park is known for its coral reef underwater photography, green turtle breeding sites, deep-sea fishing, and diverse birdlife. October to March are the best months for diving photography.
Tanzania Film Location Permits
Obtaining permission to film in Tanzania can be an expensive and time consuming process, so make sure to allow plenty of lead time. The first step is to complete all necessary applications with the help of your Tanzanian production service producer / fixer. Submit your application to your local Tanzanian consulate so that they can complete the application. Once that is done you send the original document back to your Tanzanian service producer / fixer for finalizing with local Tanzanian authorities. This film license costs US$1,000 if you apply 3 months in advance or US$3,000 if you need the application rushed. Additional licenses to shoot in wildlife parks are also time-consuming.
Photography of unauthorised public locations is illegal. Penalties may include fines, arrest and confiscation of film equipment.
Please contact us for more location specific information.
When To Shoot?
Tanzania has a tropical climate. Coastal areas are hot and humid. Inland areas are warm and dry. Tanzania is suitable for filming all year round although filming is best avoided during the the long rains of March to May.
The best time to film the Serengeti Great Migration of wildebeest, zebra, gazelles and eland is as follows. The dry season from June to October is peak season for general migration photography and good weather. Wildebeest usually cross the Grumeti River in June / July, and the Mara River in September. Wildlife concentrate around dwindling water sources towards the end of the dry season making September / October a good time to film prey. From November to May the landscape is lush. This is also the best time to photograph migratory birds. Wildebeest calve from January to February. March to May is the wet season.
Mount Kilimanjaro is best climbed either from June to October, or January to March. The latter is generally colder and there is a higher probability of encountering snow on the summit.
The best time to visit Tanzania’s coast, its islands and Zanzibar is between August and October.
For monthly weather statistics please see here.
Tanzanian festivals and events of interest to filmmakers and photographers include:
• Wanyambo Festival in January.
• Kiliman Adventure Challenge in February.
• Mzalendo Halisi Music Festival in May.
• Mwaka Kogwa Festival in July / August.
Ramadan is widely observed in Muslim areas such as Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam, with many services closed during this period.
Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Tanzania.
Unique Local Stories
Brands are looking for local stories that match their brand narrative. Our local teams are a great lead for sourcing those unique stories and characters.
If you are looking for stories for your next shoot, send us your brief and we will pitch you ideas.
If you have a unique story you would like to pitch to a brand anywhere in the world, pitch us your idea. We have well-established processes to ensure that your ideas are properly seen and protected.
Costs & Tax Incentives
Costs. The greatest cost is the need to bring in all of your equipment and key crew but that is offset by the low local costs. Our Tanzanian fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.
Tax Incentives. At present there are no tax incentives for foreign commercials or films shooting in Tanzania.
Film Crew & Talent
Crews. There are very few locally based directors, videographers or stills photographers in Tanzania. Keycrew must be brought in from abroad. Local supporting crews can help with basic projects. The closest place to source experienced crews is in nearby Kenya.
Contact us if you are looking for a director, DP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, or any other film crew for your shoot in Tanzania.
Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable. Tanzania’s African population consists of 120 ethnic groups including tribes of hunter gatherers such as the famous Masai warriors. There is also a small population of East Indian, Arab and Caucasian looks. Zanzibar is predominately Muslim.
Tanzania Film Equipment
Equipment. Some basic camera, grip and lighting equipment can be brought in from nearby Kenya otherwise all else must be improvised or brought in from abroad. Customs fees for bringing in even a small kit are around US$1,500.
Communication. Our Tanzanian fixer organises local cell phones and online communications to help you avoid the high roaming costs of calling to and from Africa.
Communication is key. Our agility and global experience allows us to customise the right communications systems for every shoot.
Web posted casting, scouting, and videoconferencing.
For clients that are unable to attend set we offer a virtual video village solution. This dedicated and secure high-resolution video streaming platform allows clients from one or multiple timezones to view setups without compromise and to participate in real-time with the team on set. Separate systems can be set up for the discrete conversations that are required to make a job run right. Working remotely with our local teams reduces your content production costs, turnaround times, carbon footprint, and risks associated with unpredictable global events.
Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production
Art department and set construction. Art department is best sourced from abroad as there is no sophisticated depth in this field in Tanzania.
Studios and Backlots. None exist at present.
Post Production. Tanzania has no post facilities. Nearby Kenya has some basic facilities but best to post abroad.
Visas & Work Permits
Most passport holders require a visa to enter Tanzania. Applications can be made at your closest embassy or visas can also be obtained on arrival at the port of entry. Proof of yellow fever vaccination may be asked for if arriving from affected countries. See here for more information on visas to Tanzania.
Tanzania has an agreement with Kenya and Uganda to waiver visa re-entry fees if travelling between the three countries.
Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change regularly. Contact your local Tanzanian embassy or representative for the latest information.
Transport & Accommodation
Transportation Infrastructure. Major roads are paved but once you leave cities roads are slower going. Avoid road travel by night. Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro are the main ports of entry by air. Several international airlines service flights to Tanzania.
Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Dar es Salaam include:
Please contact us for corporate rates.
For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.
Projects. For an example of TV commercials, stills campaigns, online content, corporate videos, virtual reality 360 content, feature films, TV series and documentaries shot in Tanzania, please see below:
Hire Tanzania Production Support & Shooting Crew
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Tanzania, please contact us.
If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Tanzania, such as a director, DoP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, please contact us.
We are able to provide you with answers, references and bids quickly.